You've pre-ordered it. You can't wait. Are you going to stay at home all day on the 5th of May? You are already addicted by the pad (That's how you call the iPad after thinking that it is already a common household gadget without having tried one). Before the first iPad ships Apple will feed a new update of iTunes that will be able to manage new file types like the popular ebook format .epub. As Mike Cook from epubbooks.com points out, Apple will use epub as default not forcing publishers to adapt to Apple's. The big issue here is… will my ebooks be compatible with my iPad?
I don't think it will be an issue. If the strict and censored AppStore has tons of standalone book apps and others like Stanza handling different titles, I don't see an big deal. iBooks seems to be just an iPad app, it's not built in like the AppStore. About the book importing, iTunes does it with music from other sources in the right format, so I'm wishing it can do epubs and other formats like RTF.
The big issue here is… will my ebooks be compatible with my iPad?
Why does this concern me even if I haven't pre-ordered an iPad yet? Because the ebook market is a mess. When the iTunes Music Store was called revolutionary, it was for including a huge music collection available to everyone (everyone who pays). I'm waiting to see Apple's take on it. I have been using a e-ink ebook reader (A Sony Reader prs-505
) for over a year now and I like the experience. It reads really nicely, the battery lasts for weeks and it's just great to have several books available to choose from.
The only thing I really disliked is the absence of a central library to find all the books I need, and second, a software that works as a library manager. I just didn't enjoy Sony's Mac application, which runs a process constantly in the background and have to stick with free software Calibre
. Despite the efforts and the obvious privilege of having such an useful piece of software for free, it doesn't make it for me. It's a multi-platform app and and it is not designed for Mac OS, to say it nicely. However, it has some popular features like the file type convertor and supporting various devices and knowing its supported formats.
Hopefully on the first week of April we will see an even heavier iTunes update. Oh yes, that app that plays multimedia files, syncs my mobile phone, has two shops… could iTunes have some of Calibre's options? I hope! Maybe I don't need to sell my Sony Reader after all.